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Drama . Thriller . Crime . Mystery

When Keller Dover's daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?

Actors: Hugh Jackman , Jake Gyllenhaal , Paul Dano , Maria Bello , Melissa Leo , Viola Davis , Terrence Howard , Dylan Minnette , Zoë Borde , Wayne Duvall
Directors: Denis Villeneuve
Country: USA
Release: 2013-09-20
More Info:
  • Betsy Sharkey

    Exciting, terrifying, worrisome stuff saturates every second of Prisoners, holding you captive, keeping you guessing until the bitter end.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    When it comes to thrillers, this one is as good as it gets. Not for the squeamish, but for anyone who loves movies, it’s too exhilarating to miss.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    The thriller that's exciting, cathartic, and powerfully disturbing. Prisoners is that type of movie. It's rooted in 40 years of Hollywood revenge films, yet it also breaks audacious new ground.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Stephen Farber

    Prisoners can at times be a hard film to watch, but thanks to all the talent involved, it’s even harder to shake off.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    A spellbinding, sensationally effective thriller with a complex moral center.

    Variety Full Review
  • Rodrigo Perez

    The picture is often graphic and pulls no punches in its disturbing violence, but its unflinching nature gives it a memorable sear that won't soon be forgotten.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    Prisoners is the kind of movie that can quiet a room full of casual thrill-seekers. It absorbs and controls your attention with such assurance that you hold your breath for fear of distracting the people on screen, exhaling in relief or amazement at each new revelation

    The New York Times Full Review
  • David Denby

    Villeneuve has what I keep looking for in directors: a charged sense of the way the world actually works.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    It's a veritable shoo-in for an Oscar nod this year, and one of the more disturbing films to come out of a major studio in ages.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    Is torture ever justifiable? A twisty, compelling, brilliantly acted (if sometimes difficult to watch) thriller, Prisoners, asks this question not in the usual contemporary context — anti-terrorism — but instead as a gruesome option deployed as a response to every parent’s worst nightmare.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Prisoners is infused with a poetic intensity that's rare in American thrillers. The closest cinematic comparisons would be "Zodiac," "In the Bedroom" and "Mystic River."

    USA Today Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    The cast is remarkable. Five of the seven principal cast members own previous Oscar nominations.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    Even with the stretched-out running time, Prisoners is one of the most intense moviegoing experiences of the year. You’ll never forget it.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Some will write off Prisoners as shameless exploitation. But like Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River," to which it's been compared, Prisoners is so artfully shaped and forcefully developed that objections fade.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • William Goss

    Rarely a moment is ever wasted, a consequence ignored, and though the climax is a corker, the final shot is even better. Prisoners requires and rewards your attention in equal measure. Be ready. Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    Before all else, Villneuve's grim chronicle of the fallout when two young girls vanish in a small town succeeds at crafting one powerfully suspenseful moment after another.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Emma Dibdin

    A simmering pressure cooker of a thriller, Prisoners is an unforgiving but emotionally rewarding experience sustained by powerhouse performances, taut scripting and Villeneuve’s tonally assured direction.

    Total Film Full Review
  • John Anderson

    There's a near-sacred history in Hollywood of non-U.S.- born directors providing fresh perspectives on America. Miloš Forman. Alfred Hitchcock. Ang Lee. Ernst Lubitsch. Billy Wilder. For Prisoners, a stress-inducing trip into child abduction, the director is Quebecois filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, who gives us an American "hero" guaranteed to push many buttons, many times, and who might not have been allowed to be quite so awful, under a different director's lens.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Dano, Bello, Howard, Davis and Leo — the last nearly unrecognizable — are equally strong. Villeneuve, whose last film was the Oscar-nominated “Incendies,” uses them all perfectly, and Prisoners works best when it’s not what you thought it was going to be. But even on familiar ground, it’s hard to let go of.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Oh, and the title? It could be an apt description for almost any character in the movie at one time or another. The satisfaction is in finding out who, if anyone, will be set free.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Paul MacInnes

    In his first English language film, Quebeçois director Denis Villeneuve has produced a masterful thriller that is also an engrossing study of a smalltown America battered by recession, fear and the unrelenting elements.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    Subtly crafted and compelling, but it suffers from a case of split personality.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    As gripping as it is grueling, with performances that swing for the fences and a central mystery that seems an unresolvable tangle of knots until those knots come undone in a somewhat forced final act.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Peter Hartlaub

    It's difficult to remember a recent movie that soared so high, before plummeting with a series of bad story choices. But the end result is still a strong piece of cinema, a failure only if you dwell on what might have been.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • David Hiltbrand

    A devastating psychological thriller, Prisoners pulls us deep into our worst fear: the Amber Alert. Then it holds us under.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    Roger Deakins, probably the best living cinematographer never to win an Oscar (he’s 0-for-10), was behind the camera. So the picture never lets us down visually, even when the story occasionally strays.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Some will take it and like it, all the way to the heart of darkness. Others may feel they've been jacked with, manipulated. Villeneuve collaborates with unusual sensitivity with his actors. The script operates on one level; the interpreters on another, higher level.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Prisoners is never less than engrossing. It’ll keep you guessing. It’s just too bad that the last thirty minutes make us feel like the prisoners, here.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    Don’t get me wrong, I like trash just fine, and the twisty-loo, triple-abduction plot of Prisoners certainly kept me watching to the end. (You’ll figure out some of screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski’s plot twists, but not all of them.) It’s the imitation-David Fincher pretentiousness that gets on my nerves. Full Review
  • Noel Murray

    What makes Prisoners more potent than its oft-implausible mystery should allow is the way Villeneuve lingers over the textures of a terrible event.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    For all its pretensions and intermittent power, is essentially high-grade claptrap.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • M. E. Russell

    At its best, Prisoners dwells on the ways the characters affected by the case are held mentally captive -- by conviction, compulsion, procedure, skewed beliefs, rage, and grief -- and how each character's blind spot and/or maniacal focus furthers or frustrates the search for the girls.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

    It makes for a compelling viewing experience, thanks to Villeneuve’s formal chops and the uniformly strong performances.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Sheila O'Malley

    Aspects of Prisoners are effective, but for the most part it's rather ridiculous (despite the fact that it clearly wants to be taken super-seriously), and there's an overwrought quality to much of the acting. Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Too bad, then, that after two hours of such relentless tension, Prisoners starts revealing its secrets to progressively hokier effect.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Ed Gonzalez

    Possibly year's most immaculate-looking drivel, a prismatically shot whodunit abundant in red herrings, but lacking in moral contemplation.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Dan Jolin

    A decent, cogent, greyly atmospheric thriller with something to say about War-On-Terror America.

    Empire Full Review
  • Ian Buckwalter

    Loki is a skilled creation, but lacking that sense of why, it's hard not to think of him as an artistic construct rather than a character. The same goes for Prisoners, a work of impressive craftsmanship that winds up making us think too much about how it was fashioned rather than what it has to say.

    NPR Full Review
  • Keith Uhlich

    The uniformly showy performances (Acting with a capital ‘A’) are what do in Prisoners more than anything.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    This is the rough cut of a good movie, and a splendid opportunity wasted.

    Time Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Try as it might to entertain serious notions of manhood, evil and original sin, Prisoners works most effectively as Hollywood hypocrisy at its most sleek, efficient and meretricious. It’s stylish, high-minded hokum.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    It is well acted bunk, led by Hugh Jackman's righteous raging as the father of a missing girl, abducting a suspect (Paul Dano) to pummel and scald a confession from him. If only solving the case and ending this movie sooner was that simple.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Villeneuve is trying like hell to elevate what turns out to be a dumb genre picture.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Amy Nicholson

    Torn between making sense and arguing that the world itself makes no sense, Prisoners is a captive of its own ambitions.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Tim Robey

    Flexing some of that Jean Valjean resolve, but with a payload of untrammelled, Wolverine-like rage behind it, Jackman comes closest to shouldering the movie, without ever seriously threatening to make it work.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    It’s preposterous schlock masquerading as art.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
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  • pennsylvania

  • maze

  • vigilante

  • kidnapping

  • rural setting

  • candlelight vigil

  • child abduction

  • sex offender

  • detective

  • police

  • investigation

  • torture

  • brutality

  • vigilante justice

  • hostage

  • revenge

  • rain

  • mental retardation

  • whistle

  • refusal to talk under torture

  • questioned by police

  • being tailed by the police

  • shooting deer

  • home invasion

  • anger

  • christmas

  • neo noir

  • hypodermic needle

  • female criminal

  • pit

  • newspaper headline

  • held at gunpoint

  • pickup truck

  • shot in the leg

  • shot through the mouth

  • gun in mouth

  • dream sequence

  • lye

  • bag over head

  • beating

  • trumpet

  • deer

  • no opening credits

  • bound and gagged

  • shot to death

  • snake

  • interrogation

  • thanksgiving

  • drugged drink

  • mannequin

  • dog

  • reference to bruce springsteen

  • snow

  • hospital

  • arrest

  • teenager

  • shootout

  • man child

  • interracial friendship

  • abduction

  • violence

  • unlawful confinement

  • vomiting

  • one week time span

  • gun held to one's head

  • suicide by shooting one's self in the head

  • 2010s

  • search for missing person

  • father searches for missing daughter

  • searching for a missing girl

  • family man

  • male torturing male

  • interrogation room

  • boarded up room

  • missing girl

  • missing daughter

  • intruder

  • sock

  • dying in custody

  • suicide in police custody

  • speeding car

  • woman shoots a man

  • motor home

  • prime suspect

  • act of desperation

  • blood splatter

  • power drill

  • workshop

  • manipulation

  • press conference

  • paranoia

  • heavy rain

  • ambulance

  • tied to a chair

  • two way mirror

  • ambiguous ending

  • suspense

  • diner

  • star spangled banner

  • race against time

  • tattoo

  • department store

  • memorial

  • revelation

  • sociopath

  • media coverage

  • desperation

  • red herring

  • blood

  • crime scene

  • cell phone

  • car accident

  • police chase

  • chase

  • shot in the arm

  • carpenter

  • family relationships

  • father daughter relationship

  • mother daughter relationship

  • mother son relationship

  • brother sister relationship

  • shot in the head

  • shot in the chest

  • apartment building

  • photograph

  • news report

  • vigil

  • priest

  • police station

  • police captain

  • car crash

  • pistol

  • whistling

  • husband wife relationship

  • father son relationship

  • abandoned building

  • rescue

  • punched in the face

  • missing person

  • hunting

  • corpse

  • held captive

  • stalking

  • animal abuse

  • breaking and entering

  • foot chase

  • drawing

  • suicide

  • missing child

  • police investigation

  • police detective

  • one word title

  • surprise ending

  • bible quote

  • christian man

  • lord's prayer

  • hamster

  • suicide by cop

  • revolver

  • rifle

  • f word

  • woods

  • box office hit

  • title at the end

  • handcuffs

  • flashback

  • flashlight

  • gas station

  • reference to batman

  • character repeating someone else's dialogue

  • killing an animal

  • forest

  • duct tape over mouth

  • alcohol

  • hammer

  • recreational vehicle